Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 4

Genesis 8–11, John 6–7

Bible text(s)

The End of the Flood

1God had not forgotten Noah and all the animals with him in the boat; he caused a wind to blow, and the water started going down. 2The outlets of the water beneath the earth and the floodgates of the sky were closed. The rain stopped, 3and the water gradually went down for 150 days. 4On the seventeenth day of the seventh month the boat came to rest on a mountain in the Ararat range. 5The water kept going down, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains appeared.

6After forty days Noah opened a window 7and sent out a raven. It did not come back, but kept flying around until the water was completely gone. 8Meanwhile, Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had gone down, 9but since the water still covered all the land, the dove did not find a place to alight. It flew back to the boat, and Noah reached out and took it in. 10He waited another seven days and sent out the dove again. 11It returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the water had gone down. 12Then he waited another seven days and sent out the dove once more; this time it did not come back.

13When Noah was 601 years old, on the first day of the first month, the water was gone. Noah removed the covering of the boat, looked round, and saw that the ground was getting dry. 14By the 27th day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

15God said to Noah, 16“Go out of the boat with your wife, your sons, and their wives. 17Take all the birds and animals out with you, so that they may reproduce and spread over all the earth.” 18So Noah went out of the boat with his wife, his sons, and their wives. 19All the animals and birds went out of the boat in groups of their own kind.

Noah Offers a Sacrifice

20Noah built an altar to the LORD; he took one of each kind of ritually clean animal and bird, and burnt them whole as a sacrifice on the altar. 21The odour of the sacrifice pleased the LORD, and he said to himself, “Never again will I put the earth under a curse because of what people do; I know that from the time they are young their thoughts are evil. Never again will I destroy all living beings, as I have done this time. 22As long as the world exists, there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest. There will always be cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

God's Covenant with Noah

1God blessed Noah and his sons and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth. 2All the animals, birds, and fish will live in fear of you. They are all placed under your power. 3Now you can eat them, as well as green plants; I give them all to you for food. 4The one thing you must not eat is meat with blood still in it; I forbid this because the life is in the blood. 5If anyone takes human life, he will be punished. I will punish with death any animal that takes a human life. 6Human beings were made like God, so whoever murders one of them will be killed by someone else.

7“You must have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth.”

8God said to Noah and his sons, 9“I am now making my covenant with you and with your descendants, 10and with all living beings — all birds and all animals — everything that came out of the boat with you. 11With these words I make my covenant with you: I promise that never again will all living beings be destroyed by a flood; never again will a flood destroy the earth. 12As a sign of this everlasting covenant which I am making with you and with all living beings, 13I am putting my bow in the clouds. It will be the sign of my covenant with the world. 14Whenever I cover the sky with clouds and the rainbow appears, 15I will remember my promise to you and to all the animals that a flood will never again destroy all living beings. 16When the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between me and all living beings on earth. 17That is the sign of the promise which I am making to all living beings.”

Noah and his Sons

18The sons of Noah who went out of the boat were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19These three sons of Noah were the ancestors of all the people on earth.

20Noah, who was a farmer, was the first man to plant a vineyard. 21After he drank some of the wine, he became drunk, took off his clothes, and lay naked in his tent. 22When Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked, he went out and told his two brothers. 23Then Shem and Japheth took a robe and held it behind them on their shoulders. They walked backwards into the tent and covered their father, keeping their faces turned away so as not to see him naked. 24When Noah was sober again and learnt what his youngest son had done to him, 25he said,

“A curse on Canaan!

He will be a slave to his brothers.

26Give praise to the LORD, the God of Shem!

Canaan will be the slave of Shem.

27May God cause Japheth to increase!

May his descendants live with the people of Shem!

Canaan will be the slave of Japheth.”

28After the flood Noah lived for 350 years 29and died at the age of 950.

The Descendants of Noah's Sons

(1 Chr 1.5–23)

1These are the descendants of Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. These three had sons after the flood.

2The sons of Japheth — Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras — were the ancestors of the peoples who bear their names. 3The descendants of Gomer were the people of Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4The descendants of Javan were the people of Elishah, Spain, Cyprus, and Rhodes; 5they were the ancestors of the people who live along the coast and on the islands. These are the descendants of Japheth, living in their different tribes and countries, each group speaking its own language.

6The sons of Ham — Cush, Egypt, Libya and Canaan — were the ancestors of the peoples who bear their names. 7The descendants of Cush were the people of Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were the people of Sheba and Dedan. 8Cush had a son named Nimrod, who became the world's first great conqueror. 9By the LORD's help he was a great hunter, and that is why people say, “May the LORD make you as great a hunter as Nimrod!” 10At first his kingdom included Babylon, Erech, and Accad, all three of them in Babylonia. 11From that land he went to Assyria and built the cities of Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, 12and Resen, which is between Nineveh and the great city of Calah.

13The descendants of Egypt were the people of Lydia, Anam, Lehab, Naphtuh, 14Pathrus, Casluh, and of Crete, from whom the Philistines are descended.

15Canaan's sons — Sidon, the eldest, and Heth — were the ancestors of the peoples who bear their names. 16Canaan was also the ancestor of the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. The different tribes of the Canaanites spread out, 19until the Canaanite borders reached from Sidon southwards to Gerar near Gaza, and eastwards to Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim near Lasha. 20These are the descendants of Ham, living in their different tribes and countries, each group speaking its own language.

21Shem, the elder brother of Japheth, was the ancestor of all the Hebrews. 22Shem's sons — Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram — were the ancestors of the peoples who bear their names. 23The descendants of Aram were the people of Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshek. 24Arpachshad was the father of Shelah, who was the father of Eber. 25Eber had two sons: one was named Peleg, because during his time the people of the world were divided; and the other was named Joktan. 26The descendants of Joktan were the people of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All of them were descended from Joktan. 30The land in which they lived extended from Mesha to Sephar in the eastern hill country. 31These are the descendants of Shem, living in their different tribes and countries, each group speaking its own language.

32All these peoples are the descendants of Noah, nation by nation, according to their different lines of descent. After the flood all the nations of the earth were descended from the sons of Noah.

Genesis 10GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Tower of Babylon

1At first, the people of the whole world had only one language and used the same words. 2As they wandered about in the East, they came to a plain in Babylonia and settled there. 3They said to one another, “Come on! Let's make bricks and bake them hard.” So they had bricks to build with and tar to hold them together. 4They said, “Now let's build a city with a tower that reaches the sky, so that we can make a name for ourselves and not be scattered all over the earth.”

5Then the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which those men had built, 6and he said, “Now then, these are all one people and they speak one language; this is just the beginning of what they are going to do. Soon they will be able to do anything they want! 7Let us go down and mix up their language so that they will not understand one another.” 8So the LORD scattered them all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9The city was called Babylon, because there the LORD mixed up the language of all the people, and from there he scattered them all over the earth.

The Descendants of Shem

(1 Chr 1.24–27)

10These are the descendants of Shem. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he had a son, Arpachshad. 11After that, he lived another 500 years and had other children.

12When Arpachshad was 35 years old, he had a son, Shelah; 13after that, he lived another 403 years and had other children.

14When Shelah was thirty years old, he had a son, Eber; 15after that, he lived another 403 years and had other children.

16When Eber was 34 years old, he had a son, Peleg; 17after that, he lived another 430 years and had other children.

18When Peleg was thirty years old, he had a son, Reu; 19after that, he lived another 209 years and had other children.

20When Reu was 32 years old, he had a son, Serug; 21after that, he lived another 207 years and had other children.

22When Serug was thirty years old, he had a son, Nahor; 23after that, he lived another 200 years and had other children.

24When Nahor was 29 years old, he had a son, Terah; 25after that, he lived another 119 years and had other children.

26After Terah was seventy years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

The Descendants of Terah

27These are the descendants of Terah, who was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran was the father of Lot, 28and Haran died in his native city, Ur in Babylonia, while his father was still living. 29Abram married Sarai, and Nahor married Milcah, the daughter of Haran, who was also the father of Iscah. 30Sarai was not able to have children.

31Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot, who was the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, Abram's wife, and with them he left the city of Ur in Babylonia to go to the land of Canaan. They went as far as Haran and settled there. 32Terah died there at the age of 205.

Genesis 11GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus Feeds a Great Crowd

(Mt 14.13–21; Mk 6.30–44; Lk 9.10–17)

1After this, Jesus went across Lake Galilee (or, Lake Tiberias, as it is also called). 2A large crowd followed him, because they had seen his miracles of healing those who were ill. 3Jesus went up a hill and sat down with his disciples. 4The time for the Passover Festival was near. 5Jesus looked round and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, so he asked Philip, “Where can we buy enough food to feed all these people?” 6(He said this to test Philip; actually he already knew what he would do.)

7Philip answered, “For everyone to have even a little, it would take more than 200 silver coins to buy enough bread.”

8Another of his disciples, Andrew, who was Simon Peter's brother, said, 9“There is a boy here who has five loaves of barley bread and two fish. But they will certainly not be enough for all these people.”

10“Make the people sit down,” Jesus told them. (There was a lot of grass there.) So all the people sat down; there were about 5,000 men. 11Jesus took the bread, gave thanks to God, and distributed it to the people who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, and they all had as much as they wanted. 12When they were all full, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces left over; let us not waste any.” 13So they gathered them all up and filled twelve baskets with the pieces left over from the five barley loaves which the people had eaten.

14Seeing this miracle that Jesus had performed, the people there said, “Surely this is the Prophet who was to come into the world!” 15Jesus knew that they were about to come and seize him in order to make him king by force; so he went off again to the hills by himself.

Jesus Walks on the Water

(Mt 14.22–33; Mk 6.45–52)

16When evening came, Jesus' disciples went down to the lake, 17got into a boat, and went back across the lake towards Capernaum. Night came on, and Jesus still had not come to them. 18By then a strong wind was blowing and stirring up the water. 19The disciples had rowed about five or six kilometres when they saw Jesus walking on the water, coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20“Don't be afraid,” Jesus told them, “it is I!” 21Then they willingly took him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached land at the place they were heading for.

The People Seek Jesus

22Next day the crowd which had stayed on the other side of the lake realized that there had been only one boat there. They knew that Jesus had not gone in it with his disciples, but that they had left without him. 23Other boats, which were from Tiberias, came to shore near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24When the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they got into those boats and went to Capernaum, looking for him.

Jesus the Bread of Life

25When the people found Jesus on the other side of the lake, they said to him, “Teacher, when did you get here?”

26Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: you are looking for me because you ate the bread and had all you wanted, not because you understood my miracles. 27Do not work for food that goes bad; instead, work for the food that lasts for eternal life. This is the food which the Son of Man will give you, because God, the Father, has put his mark of approval on him.”

28So they asked him, “What can we do in order to do what God wants us to do?”

29Jesus answered, “What God wants you to do is to believe in the one he sent.”

30They replied, “What miracle will you perform so that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, just as the scripture says, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

32“I am telling you the truth,” Jesus said. “What Moses gave you was not the bread from heaven; it is my Father who gives you the real bread from heaven. 33For the bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34“Sir,” they asked him, “give us this bread always.”

35“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty. 36Now, I told you that you have seen me but will not believe. 37Everyone whom my Father gives me will come to me. I will never turn away anyone who comes to me, 38because I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39And it is the will of him who sent me that I should not lose any of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them all to life on the last day. 40For what my Father wants is that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life. And I will raise them to life on the last day.”

41The people started grumbling about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42So they said, “This man is Jesus son of Joseph, isn't he? We know his father and mother. How, then, does he now say he came down from heaven?”

43Jesus answered, “Stop grumbling among yourselves. 44No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him to me; and I will raise him to life on the last day. 45The prophets wrote, ‘Everyone will be taught by God.’ Anyone who hears the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46This does not mean that anyone has seen the Father; he who is from God is the only one who has seen the Father. 47I am telling you the truth: he who believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died. 50But the bread that comes down from heaven is of such a kind that whoever eats it will not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live for ever. The bread that I will give him is my flesh, which I give so that the world may live.”

52This started an angry argument among them. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.

53Jesus said to them, “I am telling you the truth: if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in yourselves. 54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them to life on the last day. 55For my flesh is the real food; my blood is the real drink. 56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me, and I live in them. 57The living Father sent me, and because of him I live also. In the same way whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This, then, is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread that your ancestors ate. They later died, but those who eat this bread will live for ever.”

59Jesus said this as he taught in the synagogue in Capernaum.

The Words of Eternal Life

60Many of his followers heard this and said, “This teaching is too hard. Who can listen to it?”

61Without being told, Jesus knew that they were grumbling about this, so he said to them, “Does this make you want to give up? 62Suppose, then, that you should see the Son of Man go back up to the place where he was before? 63What gives life is God's Spirit; human power is of no use at all. The words I have spoken to you bring God's life-giving Spirit. 64Yet some of you do not believe.” (Jesus knew from the very beginning who were the ones that would not believe and which one would betray him.) 65And he added, “This is the very reason I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father makes it possible for him to do so.”

66Because of this, many of Jesus' followers turned back and would not go with him any more. 67So he asked the twelve disciples, “And you — would you also like to leave?”

68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God.”

70Jesus replied, “I chose the twelve of you, didn't I? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71He was talking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. For Judas, even though he was one of the twelve disciples, was going to betray him.

Jesus and his Brothers

1After this, Jesus travelled in Galilee; he did not want to travel in Judea, because the Jewish authorities there were wanting to kill him. 2The time for the Festival of Shelters was near, 3so Jesus' brothers said to him, “Leave this place and go to Judea, so that your followers will see the things that you are doing. 4No one hides what he is doing if he wants to be well known. Since you are doing these things, let the whole world know about you!” 5(Not even his brothers believed in him.)

6Jesus said to them, “The right time for me has not yet come. Any time is right for you. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I keep telling it that its ways are bad. 8You go on to the festival. I am not going to this festival, because the right time has not come for me.” 9He said this, and then stayed on in Galilee.

Jesus at the Festival of Shelters

10After his brothers had gone to the festival, Jesus also went; however, he did not go openly, but secretly. 11The Jewish authorities were looking for him at the festival. “Where is he?” they asked.

12There was much whispering about him in the crowd. “He is a good man,” some people said. “No,” others said, “he is misleading the people.” 13But no one talked about him openly, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities.

14The festival was nearly half over when Jesus went to the Temple and began teaching. 15The Jewish authorities were greatly surprised and said, “How does this man know so much when he has never had any training?”

16Jesus answered, “What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God, who sent me. 17Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority. 18A person who speaks on his own authority is trying to gain glory for himself. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest, and there is nothing false in him. 19Moses gave you the Law, didn't he? But not one of you obeys the Law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

20“You have a demon in you!” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21Jesus answered, “I performed one miracle, and you were all surprised. 22Moses ordered you to circumcise your sons (although it was not Moses but your ancestors who started it), and so you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23If a boy is circumcised on the Sabbath so that Moses' Law is not broken, why are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24Stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards.”

Is he the Messiah?

25Some of the people of Jerusalem said, “Isn't this the man the authorities are trying to kill? 26Look! He is talking in public, and they say nothing against him! Can it be that they really know that he is the Messiah? 27But when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from. And we all know where this man comes from.”

28As Jesus taught in the Temple, he said in a loud voice, “Do you really know me and know where I am from? I have not come on my own authority. He who sent me, however, is truthful. You do not know him, 29but I know him, because I come from him and he sent me.”

30Then they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31But many in the crowd believed in him and said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more miracles than this man has?”

Guards are Sent to Arrest Jesus

32The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering these things about Jesus, so they and the chief priests sent some guards to arrest him. 33Jesus said, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I shall go away to him who sent me. 34You will look for me, but you will not find me, because you cannot go where I will be.”

35The Jewish authorities said among themselves, “Where is he about to go so that we shall not find him? Will he go to the Greek cities where our people live, and teach the Greeks? 36He says that we will look for him but will not find him, and that we cannot go where he will be. What does he mean?”

Streams of Life-giving Water

37On the last and most important day of the festival Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, “Whoever is thirsty should come to me, and 38whoever believes in me should drink. As the scripture says, ‘Streams of life-giving water will pour out from his side.’ ” 39Jesus said this about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were going to receive. At that time the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not been raised to glory.

Division among the People

40Some of the people in the crowd heard him say this and said, “This man is really the Prophet!”

41Others said, “He is the Messiah!”

But others said, “The Messiah will not come from Galilee! 42The scripture says that the Messiah will be a descendant of King David and will be born in Bethlehem, the town where David lived.” 43So there was a division in the crowd because of Jesus. 44Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

The Unbelief of the Jewish Authorities

45When the guards went back, the chief priests and Pharisees asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”

46The guards answered, “Nobody has ever talked like this man!”

47“Did he fool you, too?” the Pharisees asked them. 48“Have you ever known one of the authorities or one Pharisee to believe in him? 49This crowd does not know the Law of Moses, so they are under God's curse!”

50One of the Pharisees there was Nicodemus, the man who had gone to see Jesus before. He said to the others, 51“According to our Law we cannot condemn anyone before hearing him and finding out what he has done.”

52“Well,” they answered, “are you also from Galilee? Study the Scriptures and you will learn that no prophet ever comes from Galilee.”

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